Colorado battled hard through a wild third period as they finally found some desperation hockey to try and regain some ground from the Red wings, but the comeback of the third featured everything but much need goals. Try as they might the Avs couldn’t pick up a third period goal to at least send game three into overtime and instead with the 4-3 loss, the Avalanche now face the rather unlikely task of taking four straight games from a finely tuned Red wing operation.
The Avs goaltending hasn’t been quite the same standard that Jose Theodore exhibited in the first series, he hasn’t been close to stealing a game for Colorado in this one and that perhaps is what the Avs needed the most, an early hard fought victory that might have set the Wings confidence back a bit. Though to his credit, Theodore made a number of key saves in game three that at least kept the Avs around in the early going setting up the scene for a possible third period comeback.
The pace of game three was much different for Colorado who counted two goals from Andrew Brunette in the second and third periods as a sign that perhaps this one might end differently. However, that third goal in the early stages of period three would be all that the Avalanche would collect, as Detroit survived the late game onslaught to collect win number three and set the stage for a potential sweep of the series on Thursday night.
Detroit seemed off their normal game on Tuesday, taking a number of surprising penalties including two separate instances of too many men on the ice, a trait you wouldn’t associate with a team that has been so polished through the regular season.
Defensively they allowed Colorado more space and more time in the third than has been the case in the previous two games, a breakdown in discipline that almost allowed the Avs back into the series.
But in the end no one but the coaches will remember the bad things about game three, the important thing and the one that counts the most was yet another win for the Wings, who seem inclined to make quick work of the Avalanche.
The mission could be completed in less than 48 hours, bringing to an end Colorado’s attempt to grab some of Stanley, by using some shades of the past.
Detroit on the other hand has more than shown the way to the future, with some unusual names claiming key goals and providing timely play in the course of the first two series so far, in the end the younger guns and future stars in Red have proven more than ready to add some more history to the Red Wing brand.